China Bans Streaming Service Twitch, Website & App Blocked
Twitch has been unexpectedly banned in China, with users unable to access the streaming service since 20 September.
Representatives at Twitch have confirmed that it's been restricted within the country, both website and app, but didn't give reasons as to why.
Users are greeted with an error message when trying to log into the site, and if they attempt to download the Chinese version of the app, well, they can't - it's been removed from all application stores.
What makes the situation even stranger is the fact that Twitch has been incredibly popular in China over the last few months. eSports matches were played at the Asian Games, with the streaming service broadcasting them for millions to see.
Because the event wasn't shown on state-run media channels, Twitch actually became the third most downloaded app in the country (Apple iOS App Store). So why has it been shown the ban-hammer? We're not entirely sure, but it might be down to the Chinese government trying to stop controversy before it even happens.
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Shannon Liao, The Verge, suggests the block was a "cautionary measure," and that authorities have been known to ban Western media platforms that become popular [via BBC].
Abacus News, however, said some local people reckon it's down to the government combating China's gaming addiction problem, which is one of the reasons YouTube is no longer accessible in the country.
Users can actually find YouTube on the Chinese App Store, but they can't connect to its servers. What a tease!
Facebook, Reddit, and even Google are also banned. Can you imagine your life without any of these websites? Let us know.